The first migraine I recall having took place at the age of 19, about 45 years ago. I had the visual disturbance referred to as the Migraine equivalent or the aura where a small star shaped visual disturbance appeared as if in the air in front of my eyes starting from one side of my field of vision and then grew in size while appearing to fluctuate in size in a rhythmic pattern involving a circular pattern with points all about that pulsated and pulsated with no associated pain but more a sense of numbness in and around the outer portion of the affected eye as well as a portion of the head typically on the same side as the eye that was having the visual disturbance. The pulsating design moved from the outer side of the head toward the nose until the design temporarily blocked my field of vision to the point that I would have to stop what I was doing, close my eyes, put on sunglasses as bright lights caused my head to ache and nausea would begin.
My very first migraine did not have a headache but only the visual disturbance. By age 21, I had been in a car accident with my mother who had been driving and then within the next few years I was in a severe car accident caused by a drunk driver who drove into the back of a car that was behind me and this impact caused my car also to be hit severely and I suffered a severe case of whiplash which caused a horrible headache that lasted for days whereby I could only sit upright in a chair for several days as I wore a soft collar from the E.R. I continued to have worsening migraines from that point on which I was given cafergot for and typically I would vomit the first dose and then the second and finally would be able to tolerate keeping the third dose down and after awhile the headache that was so intense as to make me want to bang my head against the wall finally abated. I continued to have difficult migraines for the next several years and tried different medications that were being used in the sixties, one of which was fiorinal. I eventually discovered chiropractic medicine and went for adjustments from that point on starting sometime in my early thirties and have continued until the present day. I also was in repeated car accidents always involving another motorist who was cited for having hit my car.
My migraines completely stopped at one point about three years ago or so and I cannot say exactly why that was for sure. I had started taking several alternative medicine supplements around 1992 the first of which had a fair amount of potassium in it. I later learned that magnesium could arrest a migraine as it started if taken immediately within the first twenty minutes or so. At times I had the presence of mind to have it on hand and to take it and it did work for me. In the 1990′s I started taking midrin and later migrazone and I found that this was the answer to my migraine pain and suffering for many years although I would continue to have them I would be able to take the medicine as soon as the visual aura would start and then within twenty minutes as the visual disturbance was winding now, the medicine would begin to take effect. I would continue to have migraines about once or twice a month and this may have been around the time of my menstrual cycle but I cannot say for sure as I stopped having my menses in Jan. of 2000 and became fully menopausal. I would have to say that in the last 13 years since that time, I seem to have had less and less migraine attacks and the headaches became less severe over the decades. This last 13 years coincides with the addition of numerous alternative health supplements and also the removal of my mercury amalgams from my teeth. After so many years of having migraines I learned that certain foods and smells and intense light would set off my migraines and also I would get them if overtired and then taking orange juice first thing in the morning which made me think I was giving myself a product that would try to wake me up or acidify me when my body wanted to be alkalized so as to bring on needed sleep. I don’t know if that is an accurate assessment or not so I will leave that to the experts. I did find out that red skinned potatoes which I love the taste of, bring on a migraine the next day and also bananas raised by certain companies bring them on also and I have wondered if that was due to chemical fertilizers certain companies might use. In the last 13 years I have noted that I often experience now a “migraine in my hand” as my doctor put it once which manifests with a tingling sensation in my nerves in the area of my wrist to my fingertips encompassing my entire hand as it feels as it is being electrocuted or charged with and electrical circuit and the nerves feel as though they are vibrating at a tremendous speed and it feels as if I have slept on my hand and it has gone to sleep but does not have the “pins and needles” sensation but more of a sensation of tingling and as if my nerves are all vibrating in my hand and then after a minute or so the sensation stops. This migraine in the hand has been typically associated with having eaten red skinned potatoes the day before and occasionally mashed potatoes which may have been made with peeled potatoes that were originally red skinned but I can’t be sure if they were red or yellow peels of course when served in a restaurant. The headaches for the most part over the last several years now have been almost absent but something very disturbing happened just today. I have not had a migraine headache aura for over two or three years now and so stopped refilling my migrazone prescription. I had moved out west and since having moved there never asked for a migrazone prescription and so today, I had to call the “oncall doctor” and request an emergency prescription. I was told migrazone and midrin were no longer available so I was given a prescription for something that a pharmacy I use in Mass. when visiting here, had in stock which was, sumatriptan. I have not yet taken it. I was overtired and in a rush to go somewhere when I suddenly saw the familiar aura before my eyes and could not see well and had to change my plans, call the doctor and pharmacy and rest. I had recalled that seven hours earlier I had awakened early and while resting in bed half awake, I suddenly noticed that I was experiencing a strong “migraine in the hand” experience. I thought about how lucky I was that I no longer had migraines in my head with pain and suffering and so after a few minutes, I forgot all about it. I have since this afternoon picked up the medicine that was prescribed but am not feeling safe about taking it due to heart attack and stroke warnings and warnings not to take it if a peson has high cholesterol which I do have.
I also have had one small T.I.A/Transient Ishemic Attack (minor stroke ) but had no lingering complications after the initial slurred speech and the rolling of my eyes and inability to focus my eyes properly and after my mouth forced out a sentence slowly with strange sounding words as if I was suffering from severe mental retardation. This had lasted about fifteen seconds with my speech and about a couple of minutes or so with my eyes and it was very very frightening. The catscan on my head done a few years later would reveal that I had suffered a minor stroke/T.I.A. but after going to the E.R. by ambulance after experiencing the eye and speech problem and severe dizziness the doctor had sent me home thinking I had merely suffered an anxiety attack due to my medical profile that stated I did get them at times. He had completely ignored the symptoms I had told him that were so indicative of stroke and he sent me home with some atavan. I later learned that I had high cholesterol and a few years later (now three years ago) I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms and put on warfarin/coumadin.
After six months I was allowed to get off of it as a trial and about six months later I had pulmonary embolisms again and have been on the medication for thinning my blood now for these last two years. I take metaprolol 25 mg. day and night for an irregular or delayed heartbeat due to m.v.p./mitral valve prolapse ( a leaky irregular valve flap that I;m told could cause me to “shoot a blood clot”) while my blood pressure was always low to normal, my body has become so accustomed to the medication that if I miss it, my body seems to think I must have it to lower my blood pressure and my blood pressure soars to 175/? I have noticed that I sleep better since August of 2005 when I was put on the metaprolol and I have had a much better quality of life and have become more active and feel fully alive instead of half awake like I’m sleeping mentally through every day of my life which detrimentally affected every area of my life for the first 56 years of my life. I suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which is alleviated by my choice to sleep in a craftmatic bed at a 45 degree angle and I don’t need to have a machine to help me breathe unobstructed as my tongue typically drops back into my throat opening while sleeping causing me to awaken somewhat every so many minutes all night long (per overnight sleep study lab findings). These last two years I have been living elsewhere and did not have my bed and slept flat on my back and without the machine and it has likely caused a return of some added health problems in my life due to lack of deep sleep and possibly a lower oxygen level while sleeping with obstructive sleep apnea (which is my own conclusion and supposition).
A few years ago I overcame invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast and was only a 0-1 level breast cancer case. I had a lumpectomy which left me with a 5 mm clearance for no cancer cells anywhere beyond the tiny site where it was first discovered. I did not follow up with radiation though it was prescribed. I have been using health supplemetns such as a lot o enzymes during meals and in between as the ones that aren’t needed for digestion of foods I’m told will kill cancer cells,but one had to take sufficient amount to combat the level of cancer cells a person is making (keeping the ratio of enzymes going in sufficient to beat the number of fast growing cancer cells so initially I took huge amounts through a company associated with “tumorx(dot)com”,(note : dead cancer cells were found at the site of my invasive ductal carcinoma during surgery btw), B-complex, a plant mineral supplement, selenium on occasion, thought to fight breast cancer, Co Q10 at times when I have it on hand, 100 units of Vit E on occasion, some Krill Oil containing Omega 3 fatty acids, potassium usually in the a.m. and magnesium at times at night to help me sleep better, Vit D3 (have been continually low over the last decade of testing for it) and have been on 50,000 units once a week sometimes for a month to four months about once a year now for several years and in between try to take at least 2,000 units a day if not more on my own from the health food store, progesterone cream (1/4 tsp/day on my inner arms at least three weeks out of the month, Alpha Lipoic Acid, L-Carnitine, a natural cholesterol regulator by Nature’s Sunshine called “Choleterol Regulator”, another product of theirs called “cellular energy” and a new product found online called “Urcinol” to help dissolve uric acid crystals in my joints (gout) which has been a wonderful product (as I have had kidney stones consisting of uric acid crystals found in lab study), and few new additions, “colostrum”, and “MSM” as well as a morning protein shake using either rice protein powder or sweet pea protein powder and frozen raspberries and a cup or so of Rice Milk (delicious) and sometimes midday I will add two stalks of “Organic” bright green celery stalks and it is quite delicious and refreshing to the taste. I did something different the day before I had the migraine however most recently and that was I did eat some mashed potatoes from a restaurant for the first time in months and I also ate some peanuts and chocolate the day before and I have typically not had good luck with peanuts throughout my life but somtimes just want to eat them anyway as I enjoy the taste but perhaps moreso the saltiness of it as I love salt and typically use Himalyan Salt and have for the last four years. I once wad diagnosed with Bright’s Disease (Kidney disease) at age 20 after passing out in the sun after having eaten a bag of peanuts the night before ( a very large bag of peanuts I shelled myself). The lab found albumin in my urine (protein) and years later I heard that some people have a disorder whereby they cannot process the protein from peanuts properly through their kidneys and I keep thinking I must be one of those people but no one has ever explored that for me in a doctor’s office. The diagnosis of bright’s disease btw was dropped a week later when the problem ssemed to resolve itself but no one came up with why the albumin showed up in the first place. I feel certain it had to do with eating the peanuts, being in the sun and feeling extremely fatigued to point of exhaustion and having been under tremendous stress that Summer. After researching Basilar Migraines and other serious migraine disorders on the net today I am wondering if I have some sort of rare migraine problem. I have been having the “migraine in the hand” syndorme going on now for the last half hour where one foot is affected then the hand on that side then the foot and hand on the other side and it has been a bit disturbing to me and worrisome as it seems I have something new going on now. I don’t ever recall this phenomena happening in various parts of my body one after another although I have experienced where my entire leg and half of my vulva and buttocks is entirely numb for a few minutes at a time and I am forced to lay down til it passes away. This has been going on now for several years and stopped for the last few years.
I was put on anti-seizure meds (tripleptal 150 mg. day and night) to “prevent” seizures just in case, I might have them due to having had numerous head injuries from several car accidents where always another person was cited. I did take myself off of it after having been on the med from Jan 2007 until Jan 2011, I believe but am unsure, when I began cutting the dose in half for several months and eventually cut it down again until completely able to be off of it witho no side effects. I have been off of it now for about wight months or more now and have been more animated and lively in conversation and much happier and more socially active and enjoying my life so so much more; I really hope I do not have to go back on it and that this strange new series of “migraines in my extremities and now my eyes” is something I can rid myself of be taking more magnesium and staying away from potatoes and other “deadly nightshade veggies” (such as eggplant, all peppers, tomatoes and all potatoes except sweet potatoes which are okay) as I have read that people with certain conditions such as scleraderma do much better without them and have noted that I tend to have migraines the next day after eating them (and that might explain why I had one recently because I had mashed potatoes (may have been red skinned but peeled) and I also had peanuts the day before too which some research on the net suggests some proteins can be a trigger for some rare types of migraines. I intend to talk to my doctor and with a specialist, a neurologist when returning home in a few weeks and in the meantime I do intend to have the prescription med changed to one that is a generic form of the original midrin or migrazone that always worked so well for me as it worked on my vascular system. I will be more careful also to take my cholesterol lowering supplements more regularly and do all I can to avoid a stroke or heart attack as I realize post-menopausal women are quite susceptible to them. I will start a moderate swimming program soon and do careful exercises (pilates) at home, a bit each day and drink plenty of fluids and try to get a restful night’s sleep and may go back on the machine when I get back home to my flat bed. I may move back east so I can use my expensive craftmatic bed which has been in storage for two years wihile on a part time office work, service mission and I will take products that open up the arteries and keep the blood thin and hope to be able to lower my prescription med warfarin while increasing more natural alternative supplements that do the same thing such as Vit E (I’ve heard using 400 units to thing blood, one dr. prescribed for an elderly man who was getting off of coumadin/warfarin), Vit C, I think it was 500 mg either one or three times a day, not sure on that, and will seek to relearn what he was told to do by his doctor as there were two more items I believe he took. Also, I will stick more closely to my diet that was suggested for me after excellent repeated “muscle testing” sessions with a trained woman who has helped me improve my health greatly the last five years. Also, I must say that one of the best things I ever did to improve my health was to have a fifteen year old ‘root canal’ removed which brought immediate relief to my entire body and also helped release me from the burden of having a dead tooth in my mouth due to a deadened nerve as it had rotted in my mouth and had been leeching bacteria into my bloodstream for who knows how many years now. I felt fifteen years younger in strength within minutes of having that removed. I understand there are nerves in the teeth that correclate with organs in the body. Each tooth has a nerve under it which links to a different organ and the body can more fully heal when the mouth and teeth are healthy and decay is removed. I would recommend having a tooth pulled and a partial plate made versus having a root canal or an implanted tooth. I look forward to learning more about my health and fine tuning my alternative healing plan for my entire system. I expect to get healthier as I age and do all I can to live a quality life by caring for my body and mind and being positive and always open to learning more and more about nutrition and new and innovative ways we can rid our bodies of toxins and heal our systems of environmental toxins and household chemicals that are adding to our health problems while simultaneously avoiding unhealthy eating habits and sticking to a regimen that I learn works for me while journaling my daily lifestyle habits that impact my health. Life is an adventure and a responsibiltiy and if we think positively and choose to care for our bodies in a mature focused way I do believe we can all live a longer more satisying and healthier life and then have more to offer our families, friends and our communities as well.